After wonderful discourse from Maha Periyawal Sri Chandrashekhara Saraswathi in 1977, I went to have Parmacharya’s darshan numerous times. Whenever I had a difficult question that I could not answer, I would go and ask him for guidance. He gave me audience also in abundance. I got to see him whenever I came to Kanchipuram, or at Belgam in Karnataka or at Satara in Maharashtra or wherever else he was. But I did not publicize these darshan sessions in the newspapers as some others were doing. This was greatly appreciated by the Mutt officials and pujaris.
When Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980, defeating the Janata Party, I was upset, and wondered if Emergency would be declared again. So I went with a group of Janata workers to the Karnataka – Maharashtra border, where Sri Parmacharya was camping on his walking tour. When I reached him, he was sitting in a hut almost as if he was waiting for me. As soon as he saw me, he got up and started briskly walking to a nearby temple. I just stood there watching him. Soon he stopped walking and sent someone to ask me to come to him alone.
When I reached where he was standing, he said to me anticipating my question; “It is a good thing that Indira Gandhi has got an absolute majority. At this juncture, the country needs a stable government, and only Indira Gandhi is in a position to give that stability.” “But what if she declares another Emergency and tries to put us all in jail?” I asked.
To this question, Parmacharya only smiled and put his hand up in his known style of bestowing his blessings. I did not realize at that time, that Indira Gandhi had before elections, gone to Hubli in Karnataka where he was camping and prostrated before the Parmacharya. On her own, she had vowed to him and had said that if she came back to power, she will not repeat the mistakes of the past of declaring an Emergency. Then she asked for his blessings, which the Parmacharya had given by raising his hand and showing his palm.
As I was leaving, Parmacharya asked me if I could work to unite the opposition and include the communists in it. “Communists!” I asked in utter incredulity. I added: “The Soviet Union has just invaded Afghanistan (December 27, 1979), and are preparing to capture Pakistan , and then soon they will swallow India . How can we believe the Communists?”
“Not like that at all” said Parmacharya to me. He clearly gave me a hint that Communists will never be a danger to India . In fact he gave me a clear indication that in some years to come the Soviet Union will not be there at all. I just could not believe what I heard. But eleven years later, that is exactly what happened. The Soviet Union broke up in 1991 into 16 countries, a development no human being foresaw. Parmacharya was above human, a divine soul. He could see it. To this day I regret that I did not act on his advice because I spent nearly a decade (ten years 1980 -90) opposing Communism, little realizing that it was going to collapse of its own weight. I earned the Communists enmity for nothing. That is the only advice of Parmacharya I did not act on. On other occasions, I blindly followed whatever he told me. Of course, the golden rule with Parmacharya was that he would not on his own offer any advice, but when I asked him, he showed me the way. When my mind was made up on anything, I did not ask him what I should do. Of course if I did not have his blessings, I rarely succeeded.
In 1987 for example, I tried to land with some fisherman in the island of Katchathivu to assert the rights of fisherman under the Indo-Sri Lanka accord. MGR was Chief Minister then. He had me arrested in Madurai and put me up in Tamilnadu Hotel instead of Madurai jail. The then DGP, told me clearly that unless I give up the Katchathivu trip and agreed to return to Chennai, they would keep me under arrest. Those days I knew little criminal Law, so I agreed to return to Chennai not knowing my rights. After arriving in the city I drove to Kanchipuram and saw the Parmacharya. I told him of my humiliation and my inability to go to Katchathivu. Parmacharya smiled at me as if I was a child. He told me: “You go to Delhi and file a case in the Supreme Court against the arrest, and ask the court to direct the Tamilnadu government to make arrangements for you to go Katchathivu”.
So I flew that evening to Delhi . My wife is an advocate in the Supreme Court, so I asked her to draft my writ petition. She was shocked by my request, “The Supreme Court will laugh at you if you come directly on a question of arrest. You must first go before Magistrate in Madurai , then Sessions Court, the High Court, and then only to Supreme Court” she said.
I insisted that she draft the petition. So finally she said “As an advocate, I don’t want to look foolish in the Court. So I will draft your petition but the rest you do. I won’t associate with it.” But my blind faith in Parmacharya kept me going. With the petition filed, I appeared in the Court of the Chief Justice Venkataramiah. I arrived in the Court a few minutes before the Chief Justice took his seat. Many lawyers who recognized me met me to ask why I had come, they all laughed. All of them said: “Your Petition will not only be dismissed, but also the Chief Justice will pass remarks against your stupidity, and for wasting the time of the Supreme Court.”
When my Petition came up for hearing, a miracle happened. Chief Justice Venkataramaiah asked the Tamilnadu Counsel (then Kuldip Singh, who became a famous Judge himself later) why the Government had arrested me. Taken by surprise at the Petition not being dismissed, Kuldip Singh stammered. “Kuldip Singh went on to explain that a pro-LTTE mob was against me going to Katchathivu, and the LTTE had also issued a threat to finish me. Chief Justice Venkataramaiah then burst out at Kuldip Singh. He thundered “Are you fit to call yourself a democratic government? If mob wants to stop Dr.Swamy, you arrest the mob not Dr.Swamy.”
The Chief Justice then passed an order that the Government should make all the necessary arrangements for me to go to Katchathivu. No one in court could believe it. Some asked me: “Are you related to Venkataramaiah?” I am not only not related, but those days I did not even know him. But I had the blessings of Parmacharya, and I was doing as he asked me to.
That was the divine power of Parmacharya ; when he asked you to do anything, he also took measures to see that the right thing happened.
After the Supreme Court verdict, I met Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Parliament House. Kuldip Singh had already informed him of the court verdict. So he told me: “Why did you not speak to me first? I would have told MGR to allow you. In any case, when you plan to go to Katchathivu, the navy and air force will give you cover. But the fishing boat on which you travel has to be provided by you.”
On May 8, 1988, I landed on Katchathivu and planted the Janata Party’s saffron and green flag, and prayed at the St.Anthony Church there. As I approached the island, there were navel patrol boats on either side of my fishing vessel which I had taken on hire. Two air force planes were flying over me. I felt grand like a king. My salutations went to the Parmacharya. He made the impossible possible. From being arrested in Madurai to being royally escorted to Katchathivu, only Parmacharya could arrange.
Categories: Devotee Experiences